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Mixed feelings over new Stonehenge Visitor Centre
10:03am Friday 27th December 2013 in Letters
LOOKING back over the many years in the search for the site for the new Stonehenge centre, the hot air and the costs that make the eyes water, we now have a new showcase.
If you can spare the time and effort. The journey to it will be tedious and long, if it is successful.
There will be yet more traffic through our towns and villages surrounding the A303.
No expense has been spared to present to the world how wondrous this site is. The one thing that will defeat it is the staggering cost to enter - £15 per person.
This site, which has taken some 30 years to present itself, is not for those on benefits or low incomes and please do not stop and browse with the children to view at all the gifts for sale - they will not come cheap.
Locals used to be able to visit the stones enter for free, but not this time I presume.
It seems the improvements to our road system kindly made by the Highways Agency will be its downfall when their lack of vision and imagination comes to fruition in the not too distant future.
They did not know at the time to be fair, that 1,400 homes will soon be built just a little mile or so up the road to bring our troops back home in the not too distant future.
While the Government has visions of grandeur with a new rail system from north to south and yet more runways to our main airports just announced, I hope it is done far more efficiently than this, and takes into consideration the impact on the local population.
JOHN WIGGLESWORTH, Durrington
For 30 years I have done my best to dissuade anyone visiting me from going to Stonehenge, to spare them the disappointment that they always suffer when they go.
Having been amongst the Salisbury City Council representatives at the recent opening of the new visitor centre, I will now be reversing that position and encouraging all visitors to see Stonehenge, particularly once the project has been completed next year with the removal of the old visitor facilities and car park.
Whilst the land train will take time to reach full efficiency, the new landscaping needs to establish itself and entry charges are higher (the view from the A303 is still free) the new centre gives an impressive and engaging introduction to the site, pitched at the right level for most visitors.
It is also brave enough to admit that the purpose of the site is still unknown.
I congratulate all involved in finally turning the chore of taking friends to the ‘national disgrace’ into something that everyone in our area can be proud to take their guests to.
Just the A303 to fix now.
ANDREW ROBERTS, Leader Salisbury City Council, Councillor for St Paul’s Ward
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